Chapter 33

1And this is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the children of Israel [just] before his death.   אוְזֹ֣את הַבְּרָכָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר בֵּרַ֥ךְ משֶׁ֛ה אִ֥ישׁ הָֽאֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל לִפְנֵ֖י מוֹתֽוֹ:
And this is the blessing… [just] before his death: Very close to the time of his death. — [see Sifrei 33: 1] “For, if not now, when?”   וְזֹאת הַבְּרָכָה … לִפְנֵי מוֹתֽוֹ: סָמוּךְ לְמִיתָתוֹ, שֶׁאִם לֹא עַכְשָׁו אֵימָתַי (שם):
2He said: "The Lord came from Sinai and shone forth from Seir to them; He appeared from Mount Paran and came with some of the holy myriads; from His right hand was a fiery Law for them.   בוַיֹּאמַ֗ר יְהֹוָ֞ה מִסִּינַ֥י בָּא֙ וְזָרַ֤ח מִשֵּׂעִיר֙ לָ֔מוֹ הוֹפִ֨יעַ֙ מֵהַ֣ר פָּארָ֔ן וְאָתָ֖ה מֵרִֽבְבֹ֣ת קֹ֑דֶשׁ מִֽימִינ֕וֹ אֵ֥שׁ דָּ֖ת (כתיב אשדת) לָֽמוֹ:
He said: The Lord came from Sinai: Moses initiated his blessing by praising the Omnipresent, and then he addressed the needs of Israel. — [Sifrei 33:2] The praise with which Moses commenced, mentions the merit of Israel. All this was a way of conciliation, as if to say, “These people are worthy that a blessing should rest upon them.”   וַיֹּאמַר ה' מִסִּינַי בָּא: פָּתַח תְּחִלָּה בְּשִׁבְחוֹ שֶׁל מָקוֹם וְאֲחַר כַּךְ פָּתַח בְּצָרְכֵיהֶם שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל, וּבַשֶּׁבַח שֶׁפָּתַח בּוֹ יֵשׁ בּוֹ הַזְכָּרַת זְכוּת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, וְכָל זֶה דֶּרֶךְ רִצּוּי הוּא, כְּלוֹמַר כְּדַאי הֵם אֵלּוּ שֶׁתָּחוּל עֲלֵיהֶם בְּרָכָה (ספרי):
came from Sinai: He came out toward them when they came to stand at the foot of the mountain, as a bridegroom goes forth to greet his bride, as it is said, “[And Moses brought the people forth] toward God” (Exod. 19:17). We learn from this, that God came out toward them (Mechilta 19:17).   מִסִּינַי בָּא: יָצָא לִקְרָאתָם כְּשֶׁבָּאוּ לְהִתְיַצֵּב בְּתַחְתִּית הָהָר כְּחָתָן הַיּוֹצֵא לְהַקְבִּיל פְּנֵי כַלָּה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "לִקְרַאת הָאֱלֹהִים" (שמות י"ט), לִמְּדָנוּ שֶׁיָּצָא כְנֶגְדָם:
and shone forth from Seir to them: [Why did He come from Seir?] Because God first offered the children of Esau [who dwelled in Seir] that they accept the Torah, but they did not want [to accept it].   וְזָרַח מִשֵּׂעִיר לָמוֹ: שֶׁפָּתַח לִבְנֵי עֵשָׂו שֶׁיְּקַבְּלוּ אֶת הַתּוֹרָה וְלֹא רָצוּ:
He appeared: to them [Israel]   הוֹפִיעַ : להם:
from Mount Paran: [Why did God then come from Paran?] Because He went there and offered the children of Ishmael [who dwelled in Paran] to accept the Torah, but they [also] did not want [to accept it]. — [A.Z. 2b]   מֵהַר פָּארָן: שֶׁהָלַךְ שָׁם וּפָתַח לִבְנֵי יִשְׁמָעֵאל שֶׁיְּקַבְּלוּהָ וְלֹא רָצוּ (ספרי):
and came: to Israel.   וְאָתָה: לְיִשְׂרָאֵל:
with some holy myriads: With God were only some of the myriads of His holy angels, but not all of them, nor [even] most of them. This is unlike the manner of a mortal, who displays all the splendor of his riches and his glory on his wedding day. — [Sifrei 33:2]   מֵרִֽבְבֹת קֹדֶשׁ: — וְעִמּוֹ מִקְצָת רִבְבוֹת מַלְאֲכֵי קֹדֶשׁ וְלֹא כֻלָּם וְלֹא רֻבָּם, וְלֹא כְדֶרֶךְ בָּשָׂר וָדָם שֶׁמַּרְאֶה כָּל כְּבוֹד עָשְׁרוֹ וְתִפְאַרְתּוֹ בְּיוֹם חֻפָּתוֹ (שם):
a fiery law for them: It was originally written before God in [letters of] black fire upon [a background of] white fire. — [Tanchuma Bereishith 1] He gave it to them on tablets, inscribed, [as it were,] by His right hand [thus it is said here, “from His right hand”]. Another explanation of אֵשׁ דָּת : As the Targum renders it, that He gave it to them from amidst the fire.   אש דת: שֶׁהָיְתָה כְתוּבָה מֵאָז לְפָנָיו בְּאֵשׁ שְׁחֹרָה עַל גַּב אֵשׁ לְבָנָה, נָתַן לָהֶם בַּלּוּחוֹת כְּתָב יַד יְמִינוֹ (עי' תנחומא בראשית א'); דָּבָר אַחֵר — אש דת כְּתַרְגּוּמוֹ, שֶׁנִּתְּנָה לָהֶם מִתּוֹךְ הָאֵשׁ:
3Indeed, You showed love for peoples; all his holy ones are in Your hand, for they let themselves be centered at Your feet, bearing Your utterances.   גאַ֚ף חֹבֵ֣ב עַמִּ֔ים כָּל־קְדשָׁ֖יו בְּיָדֶ֑ךָ וְהֵם֙ תֻּכּ֣וּ לְרַגְלֶ֔ךָ יִשָּׂ֖א מִדַּבְּרֹתֶֽיךָ:
Indeed, You showed love for peoples: [God] also displayed great affection to the tribes, each one of whom were known as a people, for only Benjamin was destined to be born when the Holy One, blessed is He, said to Jacob, “A nation and a multitude of nations shall come into existence from you” (Genesis 35:11). [Thus we see that Benjamin alone was called “a nation.” “A multitude of nations” refers to Ephraim and Manasseh. See Rashi on Gen. 35:11, 48:4.]- [Gen. Rabbah 82:4]   אַף חֹבֵב עַמִּים: גַּם חִבָּה יְתֵרָה חָבַב אֶת הַשְּׁבָטִים; כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד קָרוּי עַם, שֶׁהֲרֵי בִנְיָמִין לְבַדּוֹ הָיָה עָתִיד לְהִוָּלֵד כְּשֶׁאָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְיַעֲקֹב (בראשית ל"ה), "גּוֹי וּקְהַל גּוֹיִם יִהְיֶה מִמֶּךָּ":
all his holy ones are in Your hand: [This refers to] the souls of the righteous, which are hidden away with God, as it is said, “But my lord’s soul shall be bound up in the bundle of life, with the Lord, your God” (I Sam. 25:29). - [Sifrei 33:3]   כָּל־קְדשָׁיו בְּיָדֶךָ: נַפְשׁוֹת הַצַּדִּיקִים גְּנוּזוֹת אִתּוֹ, כָּעִנְיָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א כ"ה) "וְהָיְתָה נֶפֶשׁ אֲדֹנִי צְרוּרָה בִּצְרוֹר הַחַיִּים אֵת ה' אֱלֹהֵיךָ" (ספרי):
for they […] be centered at Your feet: And Israel is indeed worthy of this [privilege to have their souls hidden away with God], because they placed themselves right in the middle (תּוֹךְ) of the bottom of the mountain at Your feet [figuratively speaking] at Sinai. The word תֻּכּוּ is in the passive conjugation, which has the meaning: הִתְוַכּוּ, “They [allowed themselves] to be placed right in the middle (תּוֹךְ)” [of the underside of the mountain], between Your feet.   וְהֵם תֻּכּוּ לְרַגְלֶךָ: וְהֵם רְאוּיִם לְכָךְ, שֶׁהֲרֵי תִּוְּכוּ עַצְמָן לְתוֹךְ תַּחְתִּית הָהָר לְרַגְלֶךָ בְּסִינַי: תֻּכּוּ לְשׁוֹן פֻּעֲלוּ, הֻתַּוְּכוּ לְתוֹךְ מַרְגְּלוֹתֶיךָ:
bearing Your utterances: They bore upon themselves the yoke of Your Torah. — [Sifrei 33:3]   יִשָּׂא מִדַּבְּרֹתֶֽיךָ: נָשְׂאוּ עֲלֵיהֶם עֹל תּוֹרָתְךָ (ספרי):
Your Torah: Heb. מִדַּבְּרֹתֶיךָ‏. The mem in it [i.e., in this word] is somewhat of a root letter [rather than a prefix], as in “And he heard the voice speaking (מִדַּבֵּר) to him” (Num. 7:89); and “And I heard what was being spoken (מִדַּבֵּר) to me” (Ezek. 2:2). This form is similar to מִתְדַּבֵּר אֵלַי, [speaking to Himself for me to hear, see Rashi on Num. 7:89]. This too, namely, the word מִדַּבְּרֹתֶיךָ‏, means: “what You were speaking to let me know what to tell the children of Israel.” Tes porparledurs in Old French. Onkelos, however, renders [the phrase יִשָּׂא מִדַּבְּרֹתֶיךָ‏ as: “they traveled (יִשָּׂא like יִסַּע) according to Your commands (דַּבְּרֹתֶיךָ).” Thus, the mem is a servile prefix, with the meaning of מִן, from. [Thus, according to Onkelos, the word מִדַּבְּרֹתֶי‏ךָ literally means, from Your utterances.] Another explanation [of this verse is as follows]: Indeed, You showed love for peoples — even when You displayed Your affection towards the nations of the world, showing them a smiling [friendly] face, and You delivered Israel into their hands,   מִדַּבְּרֹתֶֽיךָ: הַמֵּ"ם בּוֹ קָרוֹב לִיסוֹד, כְּמוֹ (במדבר ז'), "וַיִּשְׁמַע אֶל הַקּוֹל מִדַּבֵּר אֵלָיו", "וָאֶשְׁמַע אֵת מִדַּבֵּר אֵלָי" (יחזקאל ב') כְּמוֹ מִתְדַּבֵּר אֵלַי, אַף זֶה מדברתיך — מַה שֶּׁהָיִיתָ מְדַבֵּר לְהַשְׁמִיעֵנִי לֵאמֹר לָהֶם, טי"ש פורפרלירש בְּלַעַז. וְאֻנְקְלוֹס תִּרְגֵּם שֶׁהָיוּ נוֹסְעִים עַל פִּי דְּבָרֶיךָ, וְהַמֵּ"ם בּוֹ שִׁמּוּשׁ, מְשַׁמֶּשֶׁת לְשׁוֹן מִן. דָּבָר אַחֵר — אף חבב עמים, אַף בִּשְׁעַת חִבָּתָן שֶׁל אֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם שֶׁהֶרְאֵיתָ לָאֻמּוֹת פָּנִים שׂוֹחֲקוֹת וּמָסַרְתָּ אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּיָדָם:
all his holy ones are in Your hand: All Israel’s righteous and good people clung to You; they did not turn away from You, and You guarded them. — [B.B. 8a)]   כָּל קְדוֹשָׁיו בְּיָדֶךּ: כָּל צַדִּיקֵיהֶם וְטוֹבֵיהֶם דָּבְקוּ בְּךָ וְלֹא מָשׁוּ מֵאַחֲרֶיךָ וְאַתָּה שׁוֹמְרָם:
for they let themselves be centered at your feet: And they placed themselves right in the middle of, and entered beneath Your [protective] shadow;   וְהֵם תֻּכּוּ לְרַגְלֶךָ: וְהֵם מִתְמַצְּעִים וּמִתְכַּנְּסִים לְתַחַת צִלְּךָ.
bearing your utterances: And they gladly accepted Your decrees and Your laws. — [see Tanchuma 5] And these were their words:   יִשָּׂא מִדַּבְּרֹתֶֽיךָ: מְקַבְּלִים גְּזֵרוֹתֶיךָ וְדָתוֹתֶיךָ בְּשִׂמְחָה, וְאֵלֶּה דִבְרֵיהֶם:
4The Torah that Moses commanded us is a legacy for the congregation of Jacob.   דתּוֹרָ֥ה צִוָּה־לָ֖נוּ משֶׁ֑ה מֽוֹרָשָׁ֖ה קְהִלַּ֥ת יַֽעֲקֹֽב:
The Torah that Moses commanded us is a legacy for the congregation of Jacob: We have taken hold of it, and we will not forsake it!   תּוֹרָה: אֲשֶׁר צוה לנו משה מורשה הִיא לִקְהִלַּת יַעֲקֹב, אֲחַזְנוּהָ וְלֹא נַעַזְבֶנָּה:
5And He was King in Jeshurun, whenever the sum total of the people were gathered, and the tribes of Israel were together,   הוַיְהִ֥י בִֽישֻׁר֖וּן מֶ֑לֶךְ בְּהִתְאַסֵּף֙ רָ֣אשֵׁי עָ֔ם יַ֖חַד שִׁבְטֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
And He was: i.e., the Holy One, blessed is He,   וַיְהִי: הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא:
was King in Jeshurun: i.e., the yoke of God’s sovereignty was always upon them.   בִֽישֻׁרוּן מֶלֶךְ: תָּמִיד עֹל מַלְכוּתוֹ עֲלֵיהֶם:
whenever the sum total of the people were gathered: At every gathering of רָאשֵׁי - meaning, whenever their number is gathered. רָאשֵׁי as in the verse,“When you take the count (רֹאשׁ) of the children of Israel” (Exod. 30:12). These people are worthy that I should bless them. Another explanation: When Israel is gathered together in a unified group, and there is peace among them, God is their King-but not when there is strife among them. — [Sifrei 33:5]   בְּהִתְאַסֵּף: רָאשֵׁי בְּכָל הִתְאַסֵּף רָאשֵׁי חֶשְׁבּוֹן אֲסִיפָתָם: רָאשֵׁי כְּמוֹ (שמות ל') "כִּי תִשָּׂא אֶת רֹאשׁ", רְאוּיִין אֵלּוּ שֶׁאֲבָרְכֵם. דָּבָר אַחֵר — בהתאסף. בְּהִתְאַסְּפָם יַחַד בַּאֲגֻדָּה אַחַת וְשָׁלוֹם בֵּינֵיהֶם, הוּא מַלְכָּם, וְלֹא כְּשֶׁיֵּשׁ מַחֲלֹקֶת בֵּינֵיהֶם (ספרי):
6May Reuben live and not die, and may his people be counted in the number.   ויְחִ֥י רְאוּבֵ֖ן וְאַל־יָמֹ֑ת וִיהִ֥י מְתָ֖יו מִסְפָּֽר:
May Reuben live: in this world,   יְחִי רְאוּבֵן: בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה:
and not die: in the world-to-come, that the incident involving Bilhah not be remembered against him. — [see Rashi Gen. 35:22; Sifrei 33:6]   וְאַל־ימות: לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא, שֶׁלֹּא יִזָּכֵר לוֹ מַעֲשֵׂה בִלְהָה (עי' שם):
and may his people be counted in the number: May Reuben be counted along with the enumeration of the rest of his brothers. This [matter, that the incident involving Bilhah should not exclude Reuben from being counted together with his brothers] is similar to what is said: “[And Reuben went] and lay with Bilhah… and Jacob’s sons were twelve” (Gen. 35:22), [indicating] that he was not excluded from the number [of Jacob’s sons, on account of this incident].   וִיהִי מְתָיו מִסְפָּֽר: נִמְנִין בְּמִנְיַן שְׁאָר אֶחָיו, דֻּגְמָא הִיא זוֹ, כָּעִנְיָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית ל"ה) "וַיִּשְׁכַּב אֶת בִּלְהָה, וַיִּהְיוּ בְנֵי יַעֲקֹב שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר", שֶׁלֹּא יָצָא מִן הַמִּנְיָן:
7May this [also be] for Judah." And he [Moses] said, "O Lord, hearken to Judah's voice and bring him to his people; may his hands do battle for him, and may You be a help against his adversaries."   זוְזֹ֣את לִֽיהוּדָה֘ וַיֹּאמַר֒ שְׁמַ֤ע יְהֹוָה֙ ק֣וֹל יְהוּדָ֔ה וְאֶל־עַמּ֖וֹ תְּבִיאֶ֑נּוּ יָדָיו֙ רָ֣ב ל֔וֹ וְעֵ֥זֶר מִצָּרָ֖יו תִּֽהְיֶֽה:
May this [also be] for Judah: He juxtaposed Judah to Reuben, because they both confessed to the wrong they had done, as it is said, “that wise men have told… to them alone… and no stranger passed between them” (Job 15:18-19). [This verse alludes to the confession of Reuben and Judah (“that wise men have told”), and how they were consequently blessed here together (“them alone”); although Levi was next in line chronologically to Reuben, nevertheless here, in the context of this blessing, Levi did not come between them (“no stranger came between them”), but rather, he was blessed immediately afterwards (verses 8-11).]- [see Rashi, Job 15:19] Our Rabbis further explained that during the entire forty years that Israel was in the desert, Judah’s bones were rolling in his coffin, because of the excommunication which he had accepted upon himself [when he took responsibility for Benjamin], as it is said, “If I will not bring him to you… then I have sinned against you all of the days” (Gen. 43:9). [So], Moses said, “Who caused Reuben to [publicly] confess his sin? It was Judah…” (see Sotah 7b) [and thus, by placing Judah together with Reuben, Moses alluded to this merit of Judah, and, in effect, “May the Lord listen to Judah’s voice,” is a prayer that Judah’s bones would finally come to rest].   וְזֹאת לִֽיהוּדָה: סָמַךְ יְהוּדָה לִרְאוּבֵן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁשְּׁנֵיהֶם הוֹדוּ עַל קִלְקוּל שֶׁבְּיָדָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "אֲשֶׁר חֲכָמִים יַגִּידוּ וְגוֹ' לָהֶם לְבַדָּם וְגוֹ' וְלֹא עָבַר זָר בְּתוֹכָם" (איוב ט"ו); וְעוֹד פֵּרְשׁוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ שֶׁכָּל אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה שֶׁהָיוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּמִּדְבָּר הָיוּ עַצְמוֹת יְהוּדָה מִתְגַּלְגְּלִין בָּאָרוֹן מִפְּנֵי נִדּוּי שֶׁקִּבֵּל עָלָיו, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "וְחָטָאתִי לְאָבִי כָּל הַיָּמִים" (בראשית מ"ד), אָמַר מֹשֶׁה מִי גָּרַם לִרְאוּבֵן שֶׁיּוֹדֶה? יְהוּדָה וְכוּ' (סוטה ז'):
O Lord, hearken to Judah’s voice: [I.e., Also, hear the prayer of Judah’s descendants:] The prayer of David and Solomon, and the prayer of Asa because of the Ethiopians, and that of Jehoshaphat on account of the Ammonites, and that of Hezekiah because of Sennacherib. — [see Sifrei 33:7]   שְׁמַע ה' קוֹל יְהוּדָה: תְּפִלַּת דָּוִד וּשְׁלֹמֹה וְאָסָא מִפְּנֵי הַכּוּשִׁים, וִיהוֹשָׁפָט מִפְּנֵי הָעַמּוֹנִים, וְחִזְקִיָּה מִפְּנֵי סַנְחֵרִיב:
and bring him to his people: in peace, from war.   וְאֶל־עַמּוֹ תְּבִיאֶנּוּ: לְשָׁלוֹם מִפְּנֵי הַמִּלְחָמָה:
his hands will do battle for him: May his hands fight his battle (רִיבוֹ), and may they exact his vengeance.   יָדָיו רָב לוֹ: יָרִיבוּ רִיבוֹ וְיִנְקְמוּ נִקְמָתוֹ:
and may You be a help against his adversaries: [Moses here] was praying for [Judah’s descendant] Jehoshaphat, concerning the battle of Ramoth Gilead, [as Scripture states,] “Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him (עֲזָרוֹ)” (II Chron. 18:31). Another explanation: O Lord, hearken to Judah’s voice. Here, included within Judah’s blessing, Moses alluded to [and incorporated] a blessing for Simeon [the allusion being in the word שְׁמַע, the very root of שִׁמְעוֹן]. Also [in accordance with this incorporation of Simeon within Judah], when they divided Eretz Israel [among the tribes], Simeon received [his portion] out of the lot of Judah, as Scripture states, “Out of the lot of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon” (Josh. 19:9). - [Sifrei 33:7] Now why did Moses not devote a separate blessing for him? Because he held against him what he had done in Shittim [referring to the sin of Zimri the son of Salu, a leader of the tribe of Simeon (see Num. 25:1-14)]. So it is written in the Aggadah of Psalms. — [Shocher Tov 90]   וְעֵזֶר מִצָּרָיו תִּֽהְיֶֽה: עַל יְהוֹשָׁפָט הִתְפַּלֵּל עַל מִלְחֶמֶת רָאמוֹת גִּלְעָד, "וַיִּזְעַק יְהוֹשָׁפָט וַה' עֲזָרוֹ" (דברי הימים ב' י"ח); דָּבָר אַחֵר — שמע ה' קול יהודה, כָּאן רָמַז לְשִׁמְעוֹן מִתּוֹךְ בִּרְכוֹתָיו שֶׁל יְהוּדָה, וְאַף כְּשֶׁחָלְקוּ אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל נָטַל שִׁמְעוֹן מִתּוֹךְ גּוֹרָלוֹ שֶׁל יְהוּדָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (יהושע י"ט) "מֵחֵבֶל בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה נַחֲלַת בְּנֵי שִׁמְעוֹן" (וּמִפְּנֵי מָה לֹא יִחֵד לוֹ בְרָכָה בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ? שֶׁהָיָה בְּלִבּוֹ עָלָיו עַל מַה שֶּׁעָשָׂה בַּשִּׁטִּים, כֵּן כָּתוּב בְּאַגָּדַת תְּהִלִּים:)
8And of Levi he said: "Your Tummim and Urim belong to Your pious man, whom You tested at Massah and whom You tried at the waters of Meribah,   חוּלְלֵוִ֣י אָמַ֔ר תֻּמֶּ֥יךָ וְאוּרֶ֖יךָ לְאִ֣ישׁ חֲסִידֶ֑ךָ אֲשֶׁ֤ר נִסִּיתוֹ֙ בְּמַסָּ֔ה תְּרִיבֵ֖הוּ עַל־מֵ֥י מְרִיבָֽה:
And of Levi he said: Heb. וּלְלֵוִי אָמַר, And of Levi, he said….   וּלְלֵוִי אָמַר: וְעַל לֵוִי אָמַר:
Your Tummim and Urim: Here, Moses is addressing the Shechinah .   תֻּמֶּיךָ וְאוּרֶיךָ: כְּלַפֵּי שְׁכִינָה הוּא מְדַבֵּר:
whom You tested at Massah: [spoken in praise of the Levites,] for they did not complain with the others who complained.   אֲשֶׁר נִסִּיתוֹ בְּמַסָּה: שֶׁלֹּא נִתְלוֹנְנוּ עִם שְׁאָר הַמַּלִּינִים:
and whom You tried…: [This is to be understood] as the Targum renders it [namely, “You tested him (Levi) at the Waters of Meribah, and he came out faithful”]. Another explanation: “whom you tried at the waters of Meribah” — You made false accusations against him [Levi], for if Moses [was punished with death and not permitted to enter the Land of Israel because he] said to Israel, “Listen now, you rebels!” (see Num. 20:10), then [how do we understand why] Aaron and Miriam [were also punished with death and were not permitted to enter the Land of Israel] — what did they do [to deserve this]?- [Sifrei 33:8]   תְּרִיבֵהוּ וגו': כְּתַרְגּוּמוֹ. דָּבָר אַחֵר — תריבהו על מי מריבה, נִסְתַּקַּפְתָּ לוֹ לָבֹא בַעֲלִילָה, אִם מֹשֶׁה אָמַר שִׁמְעוּ נָא הַמֹּרִים, אַהֲרֹן וּמִרְיָם מֶה עָשׂוּ? (ספרי):
9who said of his father and his mother, 'I do not see him'; neither did he recognize his brothers, nor did he know his children, for they observed Your word and kept Your covenant.   טהָֽאֹמֵ֞ר לְאָבִ֤יו וּלְאִמּוֹ֙ לֹ֣א רְאִיתִ֔יו וְאֶת־אֶחָיו֙ לֹ֣א הִכִּ֔יר וְאֶת־בָּנָ֖ו לֹ֣א יָדָ֑ע כִּ֤י שָֽׁמְרוּ֙ אִמְרָתֶ֔ךָ וּבְרִֽיתְךָ֖ יִנְצֹֽרוּ:
who said of his father and his mother, 'I do not see him…’: [Moses says:] When they [Israel] sinned with the calf, and I said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me!” (Exod. 32:26), all the sons of Levi assembled to me, and I ordered them to kill [those guilty of worshipping the golden calf, even] one’s mother’s father, if he was an [ordinary] Israelite [and not a Levite], or his brother from his mother [if his brother’s father was not a Levite], or the son of his daughter [whose husband was not a Levite], and they did so. It is, however, impossible to explain [that it means literally his father and his brother from his father, and likewise, literally his sons, because all these were Levites, and not one of the tribe of Levi sinned, as it is said, “and all the sons of Levi [gathered to him]” (Exod. 32:26). - [Sifrei 33:9]   הָֽאֹמֵר לְאָבִיו וּלְאִמּוֹ לֹא רְאִיתִיו: כְּשֶׁחָטְאוּ בָעֵגֶל וְאָמַרְתִּי "מִי לַה' אֵלָי" (שמות ל"ב), נֶאֶסְפוּ אֵלַי כָּל בְּנֵי לֵוִי וְצִוִּיתִים לַהֲרֹג אֶת אֲבִי אִמּוֹ וְהוּא מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל אוֹ אֶת אָחִיו מֵאִמּוֹ אוֹ בֶן בִּתּוֹ, וְכֵן עָשׂוּ. וְאִי אֶפְשָׁר לְפָרֵשׁ אָבִיו מַמָּשׁ וְאָחִיו מֵאָבִיו וְכֵן בָּנָיו מַמָּשׁ, שֶׁהֲרֵי לְוִיִּים הֵם, וּמִשֵּׁבֶט לֵוִי לֹא חָטָא אֶחָד מֵהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שם) "כָּל בְּנֵי לֵוִי":
for they observed Your word: namely, “You shall have no other gods [before Me]” (Exod. 20:3). - [Sifrei 33:9]   כִּי שָֽׁמְרוּ אִמְרָתֶךָ: "לֹא יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֱלֹהִים אַחֵרִים" (שמות כ, ב):
and kept Your covenant: namely, the covenant of circumcision. — [Sifrei 33:9] For the [ordinary] Israelites who were born in the desert did not circumcise their sons, whereas the Levites were [not only] circumcised themselves, [but they] also circumcised their sons. — [Sifrei Bemidbar 9:18]   וּבְרִֽיתְךָ יִנְצֹֽרוּ: בְּרִית מִילָה, שֶׁאוֹתָם שֶׁנּוֹלְדוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא מָלוּ אֶת בְּנֵיהֶם, וְהֵם הָיוּ מוּלִין וּמָלִין אֶת בְּנֵיהֶם:
10They shall teach Your ordinances to Jacob, and Your Torah to Israel; they shall place incense before You, and burnt offerings upon Your altar.   ייוֹר֤וּ מִשְׁפָּטֶ֨יךָ֙ לְיַֽעֲקֹ֔ב וְתוֹרָֽתְךָ֖ לְיִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יָשִׂ֤ימוּ קְטוֹרָה֙ בְּאַפֶּ֔ךָ וְכָלִ֖יל עַל־מִזְבְּחֶֽךָ:
They shall teach Your ordinances: [because] they are worthy of doing this.   יוֹרוּ מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ: רְאוּיִין אֵלּוּ לְכָךְ:
and burnt-offerings: Heb. וְכָלִיל, a burnt-offering [which is completely (כָּלִיל) consumed on the altar]. — [Yoma 26a]   וְכָלִיל: עוֹלָה (יומא כ"ו):
11May the Lord bless his army and favorably accept the work of his hands; strike the loins of those who rise up against him and his enemies, so that they will not recover."   יאבָּרֵ֤ךְ יְהֹוָה֙ חֵיל֔וֹ וּפֹ֥עַל יָדָ֖יו תִּרְצֶ֑ה מְחַ֨ץ מָתְנַ֧יִם קָמָ֛יו וּמְשַׂנְאָ֖יו מִן־יְקוּמֽוּן:
strike the loins of those who rise up against him: Strike those who rise up against him, in the loins. This is similar to what is said, “Constantly cause their loins to slip” (Ps. 69:24). Here, Moses was referring to those who contested the priesthood. — [Sifrei 33:11] Another explanation: Moses saw [prophetically] that the Hasmonean and his sons were destined to wage war with the Greeks. He therefore prayed for them, because they were few in number, namely, the twelve sons of the Hasmonean and Eleazar, against many myriads [of the enemy]. Hence, Moses said here: “May the Lord bless his army (חֵילוֹ) and favorably accept the work of his hands.” - [See Tanchuma Vayechi 14; Gen. Rabbah 99:2; Otzar Midrashim, Ma’aseh Hanukkah second version, p. 191; Midrash LaHanukkah , p. 193]   מְחַץ מָתְנַיִם קָמָיו: מְחַץ קָמָיו מַכַּת מָתְנַיִם, כָּעִנְיָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהילים ס"ט) "וּמָתְנֵיהֶם תָּמִיד הַמְעַד", וְעַל הַמְּעוֹרְרִין עַל הַכְּהֻנָּה אָמַר כֵּן. דָּבָר אַחֵר — רָאָה שֶׁעֲתִידִין חַשְׁמוֹנַאי וּבָנָיו לְהִלָּחֵם עִם הַיְּוָנִים וְהִתְפַּלֵּל עֲלֵיהֶם, לְפִי שֶׁהָיוּ מוּעָטִים — י"ב בְּנֵי חַשְׁמוֹנַאי וְאֶלְעָזָר — כְּנֶגֶד כַּמָּה רְבָבוֹת, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר ברך ה' חילו ופעל ידיו תרצה (בראשית רבה צ"ט):
and his enemies so that they will not recover: Strike the loins of those who rise up against him and of his enemies, so that they will have no recovery.   וּמְשַׂנְאָיו מִן־יְקוּמֽוּן: מְחַץ קָמָיו וּמְשַׂנְאָיו מִהְיוֹת לָהֶם תְּקוּמָה:
12And of Benjamin he said, "The Lord's beloved one shall dwell securely beside Him; He protects him all day long, and He dwells between his shoulders."   יבלְבִנְיָמִ֣ן אָמַ֔ר יְדִ֣יד יְהֹוָ֔ה יִשְׁכֹּ֥ן לָבֶ֖טַח עָלָ֑יו חֹפֵ֤ף עָלָיו֙ כָּל־הַיּ֔וֹם וּבֵ֥ין כְּתֵפָ֖יו שָׁכֵֽן:
And of Benjamin he said: Since Levi’s blessing pertains to the sacrificial service, and Benjamin’s blessing pertains to building the Holy Temple within his territory, Moses juxtaposed one to the other. He then juxtaposes Joseph immediately after him [Benjamin] because Joseph too [had a sanctuary built within his territory, namely] the Mishkan of Shiloh was erected in his territory, as is said: “He rejected the tent of Joseph” (Ps. 78:67). And because the Holy Temple is dearer [to God] than [the Mishkan of] Shiloh, he mentioned [the blessing of] Benjamin before [that of] Joseph [even though Joseph was older.].   לְבִנְיָמִן אָמַר: לְפִי שֶׁבִּרְכַּת לֵוִי בַּעֲבוֹדַת הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת וְשֶׁל בִּנְיָמִין בְּבִנְיַן בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, בְּחֶלְקוֹ, סְמָכָן זֶה לָזֶה, וְסָמַךְ יוֹסֵף אַחֲרָיו, שֶׁאַף הוּא מִשְׁכַּן שִׁילֹה הָיָה בָנוּי בְחֶלְקוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים ע"ח) "וַיִּמְאַס בְּאֹהֶל יוֹסֵף וְגוֹ'", וּלְפִי שֶׁבֵּית עוֹלָמִים חָבִיב מִשִּׁילֹה לְכָךְ הִקְדִּים בִּנְיָמִין לְיוֹסֵף:
He protects him: Heb. חֹפֵף, covers him and protects him.   חֹפֵף עָלָיו: מְכַסֶּה אוֹתוֹ וּמֵגֵן עָלָיו:
all day long: i.e., forever. Since [the time] Jerusalem was chosen [for the building of the Holy Temple], the Divine Presence has never dwelt elsewhere. — [Mechilta 12:4]   כָּל־הַיּוֹם: לְעוֹלָם, מִשֶּׁנִּבְחֲרָה יְרוּשָׁלַיִם לֹא שָׁרְתָה שְׁכִינָה בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר:
and dwells between his shoulders: The Holy Temple was built on the highest point of his [Benjamin’s] land, except that it was twenty-three cubits below the Eitam Well (see Yoma 31a). Now, it was David’s intention to build it there [at the level of the Eitam Well], as is taught in Shechitath Kodashim [Zev. 54b]: [However,] they said to David: “Let us build it a little lower, for Scripture states, ‘and He dwells between his shoulders’ [which are lower than the head]-and there is no part of an ox more beautiful than its shoulders.”   וּבֵין כְּתֵפָיו שָׁכֵֽן: בְּגֹבַהּ אַרְצוֹ הָיָה בֵית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ בָּנוּי, אֶלָּא שֶׁנָּמוּךְ עֶשְׂרִים וְשָׁלוֹשׁ אַמָּה מֵעֵין עֵיטָם, וְשָׁם הָיָה דַעְתּוֹ שֶׁל דָּוִד לִבְנוֹתוֹ, כִּדְאִיתָא בִשְׁחִיטַת קָדָשִׁים (זבחים נ"ד) אָמְרֵי נֶחְתֵּי בֵיהּ פּוּרְתָּא, מִשּׁוּם דִּכְתִיב "וּבֵין כְּתֵפָיו שָׁכֵן" — אֵין לְךָ נָאֶה בַּשּׁוֹר יוֹתֵר מִכְּתֵפָיו:
13And of Joseph he said: "His land shall be blessed by the Lord, with the sweetness of the heavens with dew, and with the deep that lies below,   יגוּלְיוֹסֵ֣ף אָמַ֔ר מְבֹרֶ֥כֶת יְהֹוָ֖ה אַרְצ֑וֹ מִמֶּ֤גֶד שָׁמַ֨יִם֙ מִטָּ֔ל וּמִתְּה֖וֹם רֹבֶ֥צֶת תָּֽחַת:
His land shall be blessed by the Lord: For throughout the inheritance of all the tribes, there was no land more full of goodness than Joseph’s land. — [Sifrei 33:13]   מְבֹרֶכֶת ה' אַרְצוֹ: שֶׁלֹּא הָיְתָה בְנַחֲלַת הַשְּׁבָטִים אֶרֶץ מְלֵאָה כָל טוּב כְּאַרְצוֹ שֶׁל יוֹסֵף (עי' ספרי):
and with the sweetness: Heb. מִמֶּגֶד [This word denotes] delicacies and sweetness.   מִמֶּגֶד: לְשׁוֹן עֲדָנִים וּמֶתֶק:
the deep: The [waters which lie in] the depth [of the earth] ascend, and moisten the land from below. You find that in the case of each tribe, Moses’ blessing resembles Jacob’s blessing [to the same tribe. For instance, Jacob blessed Joseph also with the וּמִתְּהוֹם רֹבֶצֶת תָּחַת] (Gen. 49:25).   וּמִתְּהוֹם: שֶׁהַתְּהוֹם עוֹלֶה וּמְלַחְלֵחַ אוֹתָהּ מִלְּמַטָּה; אַתָּה מוֹצֵא בְכָל הַשְּׁבָטִים בִּרְכָתוֹ שֶׁל מֹשֶׁה מֵעֵין בִּרְכָתוֹ שֶׁל יַעֲקֹב:
14and with the sweetness of the produce of the sun, and with the sweetness of the moon's yield,   ידוּמִמֶּ֖גֶד תְּבוּאֹ֣ת שָׁ֑מֶשׁ וּמִמֶּ֖גֶד גֶּ֥רֶשׁ יְרָחִֽים:
and with the sweetness of the produce of the sun: for Joseph’s land was exposed to the sun, which sweetened its fruit. — [Sifrei 33:14]   וּמִמֶּגֶד תְּבוּאֹת שָׁמֶשׁ: שֶׁהָיְתָה אַרְצוֹ פְּתוּחָה לַחַמָּה וּמְמַתֶּקֶת הַפֵּרוֹת (ספרי):
the moon’s yield: Heb. יְרָחִים גֶּרֶשׁ. Some fruits are ripened by the moon (יָרֵחַ). - [Sifrei 33:14] These are cucumbers and gourds. Another explanation: [This refers to fruits] which the earth expels (מְגָרֶשֶׁת) and brings out [from itself] month (יֶרַח) by month. — [Targum Onkelos]   גֶּרֶשׁ יְרָחִֽים: יֵשׁ פֵּרוֹת שֶׁהַלְּבָנָה מְבַשַּׁלְתָּן וְאֵלּוּ הֵן קִשּׁוּאִין וּדְלוּעִין; דָּבָר אַחֵר — גרש ירחים. שֶׁהָאָרֶץ מְגָרֶשֶׁת וּמוֹצִיאָה מֵחֹדֶשׁ לְחֹדֶשׁ:
15and with the crops of early mountains, and with the sweetness of perennial hills,   טווּמֵרֹ֖אשׁ הַֽרְרֵי־קֶ֑דֶם וּמִמֶּ֖גֶד גִּבְע֥וֹת עוֹלָֽם:
and with the crops of early mountains: And blessed with the fruits that are first (רֹאשׁ) to ripen, for its mountains advance (קֶדֶם) the ripening of their fruits [thus, “the early mountains”]. Another explanation: [This verse] teaches [us] that their creation [that of the mountains in the territory of Joseph] preceded (קֶדֶם) that of all other mountains. — [Sifrei 33:15]   וּמֵרֹאשׁ הַֽרְרֵי־קֶדֶם: וּמְבֹרֶכֶת מֵרֵאשִׁית בִּשּׁוּל הַפֵּרוֹת, שֶׁהֲרָרֶיהָ מַקְדִּימִין לְבַכֵּר בִּשּׁוּל פֵּרוֹתֵיהֶם. דָּבָר אַחֵר — מַגִּיד שֶׁקָּדְמָה בְּרִיאָתָן לִשְׁאָר הָרִים (שם):
the sweetness of perennial hills: גִּבְעוֹת עוֹלָם. Hills which produce fruit continuously (עוֹלָם) and do not cease [to produce fruit even] because of lack of rain.   גִּבְעוֹת עוֹלָֽם: גְּבָעוֹת הָעוֹשׂוֹת פֵּרוֹת לְעוֹלָם וְאֵינָן פּוֹסְקוֹת מֵעֹצֶר הַגְּשָׁמִים:
16and with the sweetness of the land and its fullness, and through the contentment of the One Who dwells in the thornbush. May it come upon Joseph's head and upon the crown of the one separated from his brothers.   טזוּמִמֶּ֗גֶד אֶ֚רֶץ וּמְלֹאָ֔הּ וּרְצ֥וֹן שֹֽׁכְנִ֖י סְנֶ֑ה תָּב֨וֹאתָה֙ לְרֹ֣אשׁ יוֹסֵ֔ף וּלְקָדְקֹ֖ד נְזִ֥יר אֶחָֽיו:
and through the contentment of the One Who dwells in the thornbush: Heb. שֹׁכְנִי סְנֶה, equivalent to שׁוֹכֵן סְנֶה, the One Who dwells in the bush. [Thus, the verse means:] "And may his land be blessed through the favorable acceptance and contentment of the Holy One, blessed is He, Who first revealed Himself to me in a thornbush (סְנֶה).   וּרְצוֹן שֹֽׁכְנִי סְנֶה: כְּמוֹ שׁוֹכֵן סְנֶה; וּתְהֵא אַרְצוֹ מְבֹרֶכֶת מֵרְצוֹנוֹ וְנַחַת רוּחוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא הַנִּגְלֶה עָלַי תְּחִלָּה בַּסְּנֶה:
through the contentment: Heb. וּרְצוֹן. Contentment and appeasement. Similarly, every instance of [the word] רָצוֹן in Scripture.   רצון: נַחַת רוּחַ וּפִיּוּס, וְכֵן כָּל רָצוֹן שֶׁבַּמִּקְרָא:
may it come: i.e., this blessing will come upon Joseph’s head.   תָּבוֹאתָה: בְּרָכָה זוֹ לראש יוסף:
the one separated from his brothers: [Joseph] who was separated from his brothers through his being sold.   נְזִיר אֶחָֽיו: שֶׁהֻפְרַשׁ מֵאֶחָיו בִּמְכִירָתוֹ (עי' ספרי):
17To his firstborn ox is [given] glory. His horns are the horns of a re'em. With them, he will gore peoples together [throughout all] the ends of the earth these are the myriads of Ephraim, and these are the thousands of Manasseh."   יזבְּכ֨וֹר שׁוֹר֜וֹ הָדָ֣ר ל֗וֹ וְקַרְנֵ֤י רְאֵם֙ קַרְנָ֔יו בָּהֶ֗ם עַמִּ֛ים יְנַגַּ֥ח יַחְדָּ֖ו אַפְסֵי־אָ֑רֶץ וְהֵם֙ רִבְב֣וֹת אֶפְרַ֔יִם וְהֵ֖ם אַלְפֵ֥י מְנַשֶּֽׁה:
to his firstborn ox: Heb. בְּכוֹר שׁוֹרוֹ [In addition to the simple meaning of “firstborn,”] there are some instances in which the word בְּכוֹר has the meaning of “greatness” and “majesty,” as it is said, “I will also make him a great man (בְּכוֹר) [the highest of the kings on earth]” (Ps. 89:28); and similarly, “Israel is My son, my firstborn (בְּכוֹרִי)” [denoting high status] (Exod. 4:22).   בְּכוֹר שׁוֹרוֹ: יֵשׁ בְכוֹר שֶׁהוּא לְשׁוֹן גְּדֻלָּה וּמַלְכוּת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "אַף אָנִי בְּכוֹר אֶתְּנֵהוּ" (תהילים פ"ט), וְכֵן "בְּנִי בְכֹרִי יִשְׂרָאֵל" (שמות ד')
firstborn: The king who will descend from Joseph, namely, Joshua.   בְּכוֹר: מֶלֶךְ הַיּוֹצֵא מִמֶּנּוּ, וְהוּא יְהוֹשֻׁעַ:
his ox: whose strength is as mighty as that of an ox, to conquer many kings.   שׁוֹרוֹ: שֶׁכֹּחוֹ קָשֶׁה כְּשׁוֹר לִכְבֹּשׁ כַּמָּה מְלָכִים:
is [given] glory: [Literally, “glory is his,”] was given to him [when Moses transferred some of his attribute of majesty to Joshua when he became leader], as it is said, [God said to Moses:] “And you shall give some of your majesty to him” [Joshua] (Num. 27:20).   הָדָר לוֹ: נָתוּן לוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "וְנָתַתָּה מֵהוֹדְךָ עָלָיו" (במדבר כ"ז):
and his horns are the horns of a re’em: The ox is powerful, but its horns are not beautiful; [on the other hand,] a re’em has beautiful horns, but it is not powerful. [Moses thus] blessed Joshua with the power of an ox and the beauty of a re’em 's horns. — [Sifrei 33:17]   וְקַרְנֵי רְאֵם קַרְנָיו: שׁוֹר כֹּחוֹ קָשֶׁה, וְאֵין קַרְנָיו נָאוֹת, אֲבָל רְאֵם קַרְנָיו נָאוֹת וְאֵין כֹּחוֹ קָשֶׁה, נָתַן לִיהוֹשֻׁעַ כֹּחוֹ שֶׁל שׁוֹר וְיֹפִי קַרְנֵי רְאֵם (ספרי):
the ends of the earth: [This refers to] the thirty-one kings [whom Joshua conquered in the Land of Israel]. Is it possible that these kings were all from the Land of Israel? [The answer is, that] there was not one king or ruler who did not acquire for himself a palace and a holding in the Land of Israel [even though he belonged to another country]. [And why so?] Because the Land of Israel was considered distinguished to all of them, as it is said [of the Land of Israel], “The finest inheritance of the hosts of nations” (Jer. 3:19). - [Sifrei 33:17] [For this reason, the thirty-one kings are referred to as “the ends of the earth.”   אַפְסֵי־אָרֶץ: שְׁלוֹשִׁים וְאֶחָד מְלָכִים אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁכֻּלָּם מֵאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל הָיוּ? אֶלָּא אֵין לְךָ כָּל מֶלֶךְ וְשִׁלְטוֹן שֶׁלֹּא קָנָה לוֹ פַלְטֵרִין וַאֲחֻזָּה בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁחֲשׁוּבָה לְכֻלָּם הִיא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ירמיהו ג') "נַחֲלַת צְבִי צִבְאוֹת גּוֹיִם" (עי' ספרי):
these are the myriads of Ephraim: The ones who are to be gored are the myriads who were killed by Joshua who was descended from Ephraim [Joseph’s son].   וְהֵם רִבְבוֹת אֶפְרַיִם: אוֹתָם הַמְנֻגָּחִים הֵם הָרְבָבוֹת שֶׁהָרַג יְהוֹשֻׁעַ שֶׁבָּא מֵאֶפְרַיִם:
and these are the thousands of Manasseh: They are the thousands killed in Midian by Gideon, [who was descended from Manasseh, Joseph’s other son], as it is said, “Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor…” (Jud. 8:10) [and the verse continues to enumerate many thousands of hosts which were there].   וְהֵם אַלְפֵי מְנַשֶּֽׁה: הֵם הָאֲלָפִים שֶׁהָרַג גִּדְעוֹן בְּמִדְיָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שופטים ח') "וְזֶבַח וְצַלְמֻנָּע בַּקַּרְקֹר וְגוֹ'":
18And to Zebulun he said: "Rejoice, Zebulun, in your departure, and Issachar, in your tents.   יחוְלִזְבוּלֻ֣ן אָמַ֔ר שְׂמַ֥ח זְבוּלֻ֖ן בְּצֵאתֶ֑ךָ וְיִשָּׂשכָ֖ר בְּאֹֽהָלֶֽיךָ:
And to Zebulun he said: These five tribes whom [Moses] blessed last, namely, Zebulun, Gad, Dan, Naftali and Asher, have their names repeated [e.g., “And of Zebulun he said: Rejoice, Zebulun…”], in order to instill them with strength and power, for they were the weakest of all the tribes. And indeed [for this reason,] they were the ones Joseph introduced to Pharaoh, as it is said, “And from among his brothers, he took five men” (Gen. 47:2). [Joseph took these brothers and not the others,] because they looked weak, so that Pharaoh should not appoint them as his war officers. — [B.K. 92a]   וְלִזְבוּלֻן אָמַר: אֵלּוּ חֲמִשָּׁה שְׁבָטִים שֶׁבֵּרֵךְ בָּאַחֲרוֹנָה — זְבוּלֻן גָּד דָּן וְנַפְתָּלִי וְאָשֵׁר — כָּפַל שְׁמוֹתֵיהֶם לְחַזְּקָם וּלְהַגְבִּירָם, לְפִי שֶׁהָיוּ חַלָּשִׁים שֶׁבְּכָל הַשְּׁבָטִים, הֵם הֵם שֶׁהוֹלִיךְ יוֹסֵף לִפְנֵי פַרְעֹה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית מ"ז) "וּמִקְצֵה אֶחָיו לָקַח חֲמִשָּׁה אֲנָשִׁים", לְפִי שֶׁנִּרְאִים חַלָּשִׁים וְלֹא יָשִׂים אוֹתָם לוֹ שָׂרֵי מִלְחַמְתּוֹ:
Rejoice, Zebulun, in your departure, and Issachar, in your tents: Zebulun and Issachar entered into a partnership [with the following agreement]: Zebulun would dwell at the seashore and go out in ships, to trade and make profit. He would thereby provide food for Issachar, and they would sit and occupy themselves with the study of Torah. Consequently, Moses mentioned Zebulun before Issachar [even though the latter was the elder of the two], because Issachar’s Torah came through [the provisions of] Zebulun. — [Gen. Rabbah 99:9]   שְׂמַח זְבוּלֻן בְּצֵאתֶךָ וְיִשָּׂשכָר בְּאֹֽהָלֶֽיךָ: זְבוּלֻן וְיִשָּׂשכָר עָשׂוּ שֻׁתָּפוּת, זְבוּלֻן לְחוֹף יַמִּים יִשְׁכֹּן וְיוֹצֵא לִפְרַקְמַטְיָא בִּסְפִינוֹת וּמִשְׂתַּכֵּר וְנוֹתֵן לְתוֹךְ פִּיו שֶׁל יִשָּׂשכָר, וְהֵם יוֹשְׁבִים וְעוֹסְקִים בַּתּוֹרָה, לְפִיכָךְ הִקְדִּים זְבוּלֻן לְיִשָּׂשכָר שֶׁתּוֹרָתוֹ שֶׁל יִשָּׂשכָר עַל יְדֵי זְבוּלֻן הָיְתָה (בראשית רבה צ"ט):
Rejoice, Zebulun, in your departure: Prosper when you go out to trade.   שְׂמַח זְבוּלֻן בְּצֵאתֶךָ: הַצְלַח בְּצֵאתְךָ לִסְחוֹרָה:
and Issachar: Prosper when you sit in your tents to study the Torah, to sit [in the Sanhedrin] and to [calculate and] proclaim leap years, and to fix the months, as it is said, “And from the sons of Issachar, those who had an understanding of the times” (I Chron. 12:32) [and then the verse continues,] “their chiefs were two hundred”-the chiefs of the Sanhedrin occupied themselves with this, and in accordance with them, the seasons and leap years were fixed [for all Israel].   וְיִשָּׂשכָר: הַצְלַח בִּישִׁיבַת אֹהָלֶיךָ לַתּוֹרָה, לֵישֵׁב וּלְעַבֵּר שָׁנִים וְלִקְבֹּעַ חֳדָשִׁים, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דהי"א י"ב) "וּמִבְּנֵי יִשָּׂשכָר יוֹדְעֵי בִינָה לָעִתִּים.. רָאשֵׁיהֶם מָאתַיִם", רָאשֵׁי סַנְהֶדְרִין הָיוּ עוֹסְקִים בְּכָךְ, וְעַל פִּי קְבִיעוֹת עִתֵּיהֶם וְעִבּוּרֵיהֶם —
19They will call peoples to the mountain; there, they will offer up righteous sacrifices. For they will be nourished by the abundance of the seas, and by the treasures hidden in the sand."   יטעַמִּים֙ הַר־יִקְרָ֔אוּ שָׁ֖ם יִזְבְּח֣וּ זִבְחֵי־צֶ֑דֶק כִּ֣י שֶׁ֤פַע יַמִּים֙ יִינָ֔קוּ וּשְׂפֻנֵ֖י טְמ֥וּנֵי חֽוֹל:
Peoples: of the tribes of Israel.   עַמִּים: שֶׁל שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:
They will call [peoples] to the Mountain: I.e., [people from the tribes of Israel] will assemble at Mount Moriah [on the Pilgrimage Festivals]. Every assembly took place through a “calling” [i.e., a summoning of the people. This is why the verse speaks of the assembly of the people in terms of “They will call”]. And there [at Mount Moriah, in the Holy Temple], the people will offer up righteous sacrifices on the Pilgrimage Festivals.   הַר־יִקְרָאוּ: לְהַר הַמּוֹרִיָּה יֵאָסְפוּ, כָּל אֲסִיפָה עַל יְדֵי קְרִיאָה הִיא, וְשָׁם יזבחו בָּרְגָלִים זבחי צדק:
for they will be nourished by the abundance of the seas: i.e., Issachar and Zebulun [will be nourished], and thereby, they will have spare time to study the Torah.   כִּי שֶׁפַע יַמִּים יִינָקוּ: יִשָּׂשכָר וּזְבוּלֻן, וִיהֵא לָהֶם פְּנַאי לַעֲסֹק בַּתּוֹרָה:
and by the treasures hidden in the sand: Things covered up and hidden by the sand-the tarit [or “torino,” a kind of fish], the snail [from which a sky-blue dye was obtained], and “white glass,” all of which come from the sea or the sand. These were found in the territory of Issachar and Zebulun, as is taught in Tractate Megillah (6a): [Scripture says, “Zebulun is a people who jeopardized his life to die” (Jud. 5:18). [And why?] Because [as that verse continues], “Naftali is on the high places of the field,” i.e., Zebulun complained [to God] about his territory, saying, “To my brothers, You have given fields and vineyards [… while to me, You have given seas and rivers]!” [In reply, God told Zebulun that the other brothers will seek him out because of the hidden treasures contained within the seas and the sands.]   וּשְׂפֻנֵי טְמוּנֵי חֽוֹל: כִּסּוּיֵי טְמוּנֵי חוֹל, טָרִית וְחִלָּזוֹן וּזְכוּכִית לְבָנָה הַיּוֹצְאִים מִן הַיָּם וּמִן הַחוֹל, וּבְחֶלְקוֹ שֶׁל יִשָּׂשכָר וּזְבוּלֻן הָיָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמוּר בְּמַסֶּכֶת מְגִלָּה (דף ו') "זְבוּלֻן עַם חֵרֵף נַפְשׁוֹ לָמוּת" (שופטים ה') מִשּׁוּם דְּ"נַפְתָּלִי עַל מְרוֹמֵי שָׂדֶה" (שם), הָיָה מִתְרַעֵם זְבוּלֻן עַל חֶלְקוֹ — לְאָחִי נָתַתָּ שָׂדוֹת וּכְרָמִים וְכוּ' (ספרי):
the treasures: Heb. וּשְׂפֻנֵי An expression meaning a covering, as it is said, “And he covered (וַיִּסְפֹּן) the house” (I Kings 6:9); and, וְסָפֻן בָאֶרֶז, which the Targum renders as: “And it was covered with a covering of cedar” (I Kings 7:3). Another explanation: they will call people to the mountain: Through Zebulun’s commerce, merchants of the world’s nations will come to his land. Now Zebulun is located at the border, so these merchants will say, “Since we have taken so much trouble to reach here, let us go to Jerusalem and see what the God of this nation is like and what they do.” And they see all Israel worshipping one God and eating one kind of food [i.e., only what is permissible to them, and they will be astonished], because [among] the nations, the deity of one is not like the deity of another, and the food of one is not like the food of another. So they will say, “There is no nation as worthy as this one!” Consequently, they will convert to Judaism there, as our verse says, “there, they will offer up righteous sacrifices” [and all of this will be due to Zebulun’s commerce]. — [Sifrei 33:19]   וּשְׂפֻנֵי: לְשׁוֹן כִּסּוּי, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלכים א ו') "וַיִּסְפֹּן אֶת הַבַּיִת", "וְסָפֻן בָּאֶרֶז" (ירמיהו כב, יד) וְתַרְגּוּמוֹ "וּמְטֹלָל בְּכִיּוֹרֵי אַרְזָא". דָּבָר אַחֵר — עמים הר יקראו עַל יְדֵי פְּרַקְמַטְיָא שֶׁל זְבוּלֻן תַּגָּרֵי אֻמּוֹת העוֹלָם בָּאִים אֶל אַרְצוֹ, וְהוּא עוֹמֵד עַל הַסְּפָר וְהֵם אוֹמְרִים הוֹאִיל וְנִצְטַעַרְנוּ עַד כָּאן נֵלֵךְ עַד יְרוּשָׁלַיִם וְנִרְאֶה מַה יִּרְאָתָהּ שֶׁל אֻמָּה זוֹ וּמַה מַּעֲשֶׂיהָ, וְהֵם רוֹאִים כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל עוֹבְדִים לֶאֱלוֹהַּ אֶחָד וְאוֹכְלִים מַאֲכָל אֶחָד — לְפִי שֶׁהַגּוֹיִם אֱלוֹהוֹ שֶׁל זֶה לֹא כֵאלוֹהוֹ שֶׁל זֶה וּמַאֲכָלוֹ שֶׁל זֶה לֹא כְמַאֲכָלוֹ שֶׁל זֶה — וְהֵם אוֹמְרִים אֵין אֻמָּה כְּשֵׁרָה כְּזוֹ וּמִתְגַּיְּרִין שָׁם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר שָׁם יִזְבְּחוּ זִבְחֵי צֶדֶק (ספרי):
for they will be nourished by the abundance of the seas: Zebulun and Issachar [will be nourished], that is to say, the sea will lavish them with wealth.   כִּי שֶׁפַע יַמִּים יִינָקוּ: זְבוּלֻן וְיִשָּׂשכָר הַיָּם נוֹתֵן לָהֶם מָמוֹן בְּשֶׁפַע:
20And of Gad he said: "Blessed is He Who grants expanse to Gad; he dwells like a lion, tearing the arm [of his prey, together] with the head.   כוּלְגָ֣ד אָמַ֔ר בָּר֖וּךְ מַרְחִ֣יב גָּ֑ד כְּלָבִ֣יא שָׁכֵ֔ן וְטָרַ֥ף זְר֖וֹעַ אַף־קָדְקֹֽד:
Blessed is He Who grants expanse to Gad: This teaches us that Gad’s territory extended far eastward. — [Sifrei 33:20]   בָּרוּךְ מַרְחִיב גָּד: מְלַמֵּד שֶׁהָיָה תְחוּמוֹ שֶׁל גָּד מַרְחִיב וְהוֹלֵךְ כְּלַפֵּי מִזְרָח (שם):
He dwells like a lion: Because Gad was near the border, he is therefore compared to lions, for all those who are located near the border must be mighty [like lions, in order to protect themselves from attack]. — [Sifrei 33:20]   כְּלָבִיא שָׁכֵן: לְפִי שֶׁהָיָה סָמוּךְ לַסְּפָר, לְפִיכָךְ נִמְשַׁל בַּאֲרָיוֹת, שֶׁכָּל הַסְּמוּכִים לַסְּפָר צְרִיכִים לִהְיוֹת גִּבּוֹרִים (שם):
tearing the arm [of his prey, together] with the head: Anyone slain by the Gadites could be readily identified: they used to cut off the head together with the arm in one blow. — [Jonathan Ben Uziel]   וְטָרַף זְרוֹעַ אַף־קָדְקֹֽד: הֲרוּגֵיהֶן הָיוּ נִכָּרִין, חוֹתְכִים הָרֹאשׁ עִם הַזְּרוֹעַ בְּמַכָּה אַחַת:
21He saw the first portion for himself, because there, the portion of the lawgiver is hidden. And he came at the head of the people; he did what is righteous for the Lord, and what is lawful with Israel."   כאוַיַּ֤רְא רֵאשִׁית֙ ל֔וֹ כִּי־שָׁ֛ם חֶלְקַ֥ת מְחֹקֵ֖ק סָפ֑וּן וַיֵּ֨תֵא֙ רָ֣אשֵׁי עָ֔ם צִדְקַ֤ת יְהֹוָה֙ עָשָׂ֔ה וּמִשְׁפָּטָ֖יו עִם־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
He saw the first portion for himself: He saw fit to take for himself territory in the land of Sihon and Og, whose land was the beginning (רֵאשִׁית) of the conquest of the Land.   וַיַּרְא רֵאשִׁית לוֹ: רָאָה לִטֹּל לוֹ חֵלֶק בְּאֶרֶץ סִיחוֹן וְעוֹג, שֶׁהִיא רֵאשִׁית כִּבּוּשׁ הָאָרֶץ:
because there, the portion of the lawgiver is hidden: For Gad knew [through Divine transmission,] that within his territory would be contained a portion of the field designated for the burial of “the lawgiver,” namely Moses. — [Sotah 13b]   כִּי־שָׁם חֶלְקַת: כִּי יָדַע אֲשֶׁר שָׁם בְּנַחֲלָתוֹ חלקת שְׂדֵה קְבוּרַת מחקק, וְהוּא מֹשֶׁה (עי' ספרי; סוטה י"ג):
of the lawgiver: That portion [of the field, where Moses was buried,] was hidden (סָפוּן) and concealed from every creature, as it is said, “And no man knows his burial place” (Deut. 34:6).   סָפוּן: אוֹתָהּ חֶלְקָה סְפוּנָה וּטְמוּנָה מִכָּל בְּרִיָּה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים ל"ד) "וְלֹא יָדַע אִישׁ אֶת קְבֻרָתוֹ":
And he came: i.e., Gad came.   וַיֵּתֵא: גָּד:
at the head of the people: The Gadites marched before the armed forces in the conquest of the Land, because the Gadites were powerful, and so it is said [of them], “Pass over, armed, before your brothers” (Deut. 3:18).   רָאשֵׁי עָם: הֵם הָיוּ הוֹלְכִין לִפְנֵי הֶחָלוּץ בְּכִבּוּשׁ הָאָרֶץ, לְפִי שֶׁהָיוּ גִּבּוֹרִים, וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר "וְאַתֶּם תַּעַבְרוּ חֲמֻשִׁים לִפְנֵי אֲחֵיכֶם וְגוֹ'" (יהושע א'):
He did what is righteous for the Lord: Because the Gadites substantiated their words, keeping their promise to cross the Jordan [and remain there to help their brothers] until Israel had conquered and divided [the Land among the tribes]. Another explanation: And he came-And Moses came. [Similarly, the remaining clauses:] “At the head of the people,” and “He did what is righteous for the Lord,” also refer to Moses. — [Sifrei 33:21]   צִדְקַת ה' עָשָׂה: שֶׁהֶאֱמִינוּ דִבְרֵיהֶם וְשָׁמְרוּ הַבְטָחָתָם לַעֲבֹר אֶת הַיַּרְדֵּן עַד שֶׁכָּבְשׁוּ וְחָלְקוּ; דָּבָר אַחֵר — ויתא מֹשֶׁה ראשי עם, צדקת ה' עשה עַל מֹשֶׁה אָמוּר (עי' ספרי):
22And of Dan he said: "Dan is a young lion, streaming from Bashan."   כבוּלְדָ֣ן אָמַ֔ר דָּ֖ן גּ֣וּר אַרְיֵ֑ה יְזַנֵּ֖ק מִן־הַבָּשָֽׁן:
Dan is a young lion: Dan was also located close to the border, and so [like Gad], he is compared to lions. — [Sifrei 33:22]   דָּן גּוּר אַרְיֵה: אַף הוּא הָיָה סָמוּךְ לַסְּפָר, לְפִיכָךְ מוֹשְׁלוֹ בַּאֲרָיוֹת (שם):
streaming from Bashan: [This is to be understood] as the Targum [Onkelos] renders it [“His land drinks from the rivers that flow from Bashan”]. For the Jordan [river] comes out from Dan’s territory, from the Paneas cave, which is [a place called] Leshem, within the territory of Dan. [The children of Dan conquered Leshem and incorporated it into their territory, calling it Dan after their father,] as it is said, “And they called Leshem, Dan” (Joshua 19:47). - [Bech. 55a] And its source (זִנּוּק) and flow is from Bashan. Another explanation [of יְזַנֵּק מִן-הַבָּשָׁן] is: Just as a water flow (זִנּוּק) issues from one place and divides itself [afterwards] into two directions, similarly, the tribe of Dan [started with one territory and ended up] taking a portion in two places. First, they took the northwest [of the Land of Israel], namely, Ekron and its surroundings. But this did not suffice them. So they came and fought against Leshem, which is Paneas, located in the north-east [of the Land of Israel]. [Now Rashi demarcates these two areas geographically:] For the Jordan comes out of the Paneas [or Banias] cave, which is in the east [and at the northern extremity] of the Land of Israel, and then the river flows from the north [straight down] to the south, ending at the edge of the Salt Sea [“Dead Sea”], which in turn, is in the east of Judah’s territory, Judah having taken his territory in the southern part of the Land of Israel, as is delineated in the book of Joshua (19:47). This is the meaning of what is stated there: “And the border of the children of Dan went out from them, so the children of Dan arose and fought against Leshem [and took possession of it].” [So when this verse says “And the border of the children of Dan went out from them,” it means:] Their border was bursting outwards [as it were,] along that whole [eastern flank of the Land] where they originally took their inheritance. [Hence, whereas Dan started out with one territory, he ended up with two, just like a water flow (זִנּוּק) is one, and divides into two]. — [Sifrei 33:22]   יְזַנֵּק מִן־הַבָּשָֽׁן: כְּתַרְגּוּמוֹ, שֶׁהָיָה הַיַּרְדֵּן יוֹצֵא מֵחֶלְקוֹ מִמְּעָרַת פַּמְיָאס, וְהִיא לֶשֶׁם שֶׁהִיא בְחֶלְקוֹ שֶׁל דָּן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (יהושע י"ט) "וַיִּקְרְאוּ לְלֶשֶׁם דָּן", וְזִנּוּקוֹ וְקִלּוּחוֹ מִן הַבָּשָׁן. דָּבָר אַחֵר — מַה זִּנּוּק זֶה יוֹצֵא מִמָּקוֹם אֶחָד וְנֶחֱלָק לִשְׁנֵי מְקוֹמוֹת, כָּךְ שִׁבְטוֹ שֶׁל דָּן נָטְלוּ חֵלֶק בִּשְׁנֵי מְקוֹמוֹת, תְּחִלָּה נָטְלוּ בִצְפוֹנִית מַעֲרָבִית — עֶקְרוֹן וּסְבִיבוֹתֶיהָ — וְלֹא סָפְקוּ לָהֶם, וּבָאוּ וְנִלְחֲמוּ עִם לֶשֶׁם שֶׁהִיא פַּמְיָאס, וְהִיא בִּצְפוֹנִית מִזְרָחִית — שֶׁהֲרֵי הַיַּרְדֵּן יוֹצֵא מִמְּעָרַת פַּמְיָאס וְהִיא בְּמִזְרָחָהּ שֶׁל אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבָא מֵהַצָּפוֹן לַדָּרוֹם, וְכָלֶה בִקְצֵה יָם הַמֶּלַח שֶׁהוּא בְּמִזְרַח יְהוּדָה שֶׁנָּטַל בִּדְרוֹמָהּ שֶׁל אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל — כְּמוֹ שֶׁמְּפֹרָשׁ בְּסֵפֶר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, וְהוּא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שם) "וַיֵּצֵא גְבוּל בְּנֵי דָן מֵהֶם וַיַּעֲלוּ בְנֵי דָן וַיִּלָּחֲמוּ עִם לֶשֶׁם וְגוֹ'" — יָצָא גְבוּלָם מִכָּל אוֹתוֹ הָרוּחַ שֶׁהִתְחִילוּ לִנְחֹל בּוֹ (ספרי):
23And of Naftali he said, "Naftali is favorably satisfied and full of the Lord's blessing. Possess the Sea and the south."   כגוּלְנַפְתָּלִ֣י אָמַ֔ר נַפְתָּלִי֙ שְׂבַ֣ע רָצ֔וֹן וּמָלֵ֖א בִּרְכַּ֣ת יְהֹוָ֑ה יָ֥ם וְדָר֖וֹם יְרָֽשָׁה:
favorably satisfied: Naftali’s land would fully satisfy all its inhabitants.   שְׂבַע רָצוֹן: שֶׁהָיְתָה אַרְצוֹ שְׂבֵעָה כָּל רְצוֹן יוֹשְׁבֶיהָ:
Possess the sea and the south: The sea of Kinnereth fell within Naftali’s portion; moreover, he took a rope’s length of fishing-coast on its south[ern shore] for spreading out his nets and trawls. — [B.K. 81b]   יָם וְדָרוֹם יְרָֽשָׁה: יָם כִּנֶּרֶת נָפְלָה בְּחֶלְקוֹ, וְנָטַל מְלֹא חֶבֶל חֵרֶם בִּדְרוֹמָהּ, לִפְרֹשׂ חֲרָמִים וּמִכְמוֹרוֹת (ב"ק פ"א):
Possess: Heb. יְרָשָׁה. This word is in the imperative form and is equivalent to [the simple command רֵשׁ] in “Go up and possess (רֵשׁ)” (Deut. 1:21). The fact that the accent is placed on next to the last syllable in the word, namely on the reish, proves this point, like the words: יְרַשׁ (possess!), יְדַע (know!), לְקַח (take!) and שְׁמַע (listen!). Now, when one adds a hey at the end of this [simple command] form, the accent is on next to the last syllable of the word to become: לְקָחָה סְלָחָה יְדָעָה שְׁמָעָה Here also, יְרָשָׁה is an imperative form. Accordingly, in the Masoreth Gedolah, we find this in the alphabetically arranged imperative forms of verbs, which have their accents on next to the last syllable.   יְרָֽשָׁה: לְשׁוֹן צִוּוּי, כְּמוֹ "עֲלֵה רֵשׁ" (דברים א'), וְהַטַּעַם שֶׁלְּמַעְלָה בָּרֵ"ישׁ מוֹכִיחַ, כְּמוֹ סְלַח, יְדַע, לְקַח, שְׁמַע, כְּשֶׁמּוֹסִיף בּוֹ הֵ"א יִהְיֶה הַטַּעַם לְמַעְלָה סְלָחָה, יְדָעָה, לְקָחָה, שְׁמָעָה, אַף כָּאן יְרָשָׁה לְשׁוֹן צִוּוּי, וּבַמָּסֹרֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה מָצִינוּ בְּאַלְפָא בֵּיתָא לְשׁוֹן צִוּוּי דְּטַעְמֵיהוֹן מִלְּעֵיל:
24And of Asher he said: "May Asher be blessed with sons. He will be pleasing to his brothers, and immerse his foot in oil.   כדוּלְאָשֵׁ֣ר אָמַ֔ר בָּר֥וּךְ מִבָּנִ֖ים אָשֵׁ֑ר יְהִ֤י רְצוּי֙ אֶחָ֔יו וְטֹבֵ֥ל בַּשֶּׁ֖מֶן רַגְלֽוֹ:
May Asher be blessed with sons: I saw in Sifrei the following (33:24): “Among all of the tribes, you will not find one that is blessed with sons as Asher was.” But I do not know in which regard.   בָּרוּךְ מִבָּנִים אָשֵׁר: רָאִיתִי בְסִפְרֵי — אֵין לְךָ בְכָל הַשְּׁבָטִים שֶׁנִּתְבָּרֵךְ בְּבָנִים כְּאָשֵׁר, וְאֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ כֵּיצַד:
He will be pleasing to his brothers: Asher pleased his brothers with “Onpakinon oil” [oil of unripe olives, used for anointing one’s skin] and tasty foods, and they please him [by repaying him] with grain. Another explanation of “He will be pleasing to his brothers” : Because the women who came from Asher were beautiful [and were sought after for marriage]. This is the meaning of what is stated in Chronicles (I Chron. 7:31). [when it speaks of Malchiel, Asher’s grandson] “he was the father בִּרְזָיִת [literally, olive-child]” that is to say, his daughters were married to Kohanim Gedolim [and kings], who were anointed with olive oil (זַיִת) . - [Gen. Rabbah 71:10]   יְהִי רְצוּי אֶחָיו: שֶׁהָיָה מִתְרַצֶּה לְאֶחָיו בְּשֶׁמֶן אַנְפִּיקִינוֹן וּבְקַפְּלָאוֹת, וְהֵם מְרַצִּין לוֹ בִּתְבוּאָה. דָּבָר אַחֵר — יהי רצוי אחיו שֶׁהָיוּ בְנוֹתָיו נָאוֹת, וְהוּא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בְּדִבְרֵי הַיָּמִים (דבהי"א ז') "הוּא אֲבִי בִרְזָיִת", שֶׁהָיוּ בְנוֹתָיו נְשׂוּאוֹת לְכֹהֲנִים גְּדוֹלִים וּמְלָכִים הַנִּמְשָׁחִים בְּשֶׁמֶן זַיִת:
and immerse his foot in oil: for his land flowed like a spring with oil. It once happened, that the people of Laodicea were in need of oil, and they appointed an agent [who was sent from place to place, until he found an olive farmer. The latter brought this agent to his home, and there, the olive farmer washed himself and then dipped his hands and feet, thereby fulfilling our verse here: “And dip his foot in oil.” Then, he supplied the agent from Laodicea with one million, one hundred and eighteen thousand maneh worth of olive oil!]. — [Tractate Men. 85b]   וְטֹבֵל בַּשֶּׁמֶן רַגְלֽוֹ: שֶׁהָיְתָה אַרְצוֹ מוֹשֶׁכֶת שֶׁמֶן כְּמַעְיָן, וּמַעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנִּצְטָרְכוּ אַנְשֵׁי לוּדְקִיָּא לְשֶׁמֶן, מִנּוּ לָהֶם פּוּלְמוּסְטוּס אֶחָד, וכוּ' כִדְאִיתָא בִמְנָחוֹת (דף פ"ה):
25Your locks are iron and copper, and the days of your old age will be like the days of your youth.   כהבַּרְזֶ֥ל וּנְח֖שֶׁת מִנְעָלֶ֑ךָ וּכְיָמֶ֖יךָ דָּבְאֶֽךָ:
Your locks are iron and copper: Now he [Moses] addresses all Israel, whose strong men dwelled in the border cities and would “lock up” the Land [as it were, with their protection], so that the enemies would be unable to enter. It was as if the Land was closed up with locks and bolts made of iron and copper. Another explanation: Your locks are iron and copper-Your land is “locked in” by mountains, from which iron and copper are mined. [In this respect] Asher’s territory was [considered] the “lock of the Land of Israel.” — [Sifrei 33:25]   בַּרְזֶל וּנְחשֶׁת מִנְעָלֶךָ: עַכְשָׁו הוּא מְדַבֵּר כְּנֶגֶד כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל, שֶׁהָיוּ גִּבּוֹרֵיהֶם יוֹשְׁבִים בְּעָרֵי הַסְּפָר וְנוֹעֲלִים אוֹתָהּ שֶׁלֹּא יוּכְלוּ הָאוֹיְבִים לִכָּנֵס בָּהּ, כְּאִילוּ הִיא סְגוּרָה בְמַנְעוּלִים וּבְרִיחִים שֶׁל בַּרְזֶל וּנְחֹשֶׁת. דָּבָר אַחֵר, ברזל ונחשת מנעלך — אַרְצְּכֶם נְעוּלָה בְּהָרִים שֶׁחוֹצְבִין מֵהֶם בַּרְזֶל וּנְחֹשֶׁת, וְאַרְצוֹ שֶׁל אָשֵׁר הָיְתָה מַנְעוּלָהּ שֶׁל אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל (ספרי):
and the days of your old age will be like the days of your youth: Heb. וּכְיָמֶי‏ךָ דָּבְאֶךָ. Like the days that are your best, namely, your first days, the days of your youth-so will be the days of your old age, days which [ordinarily] flow away (דּוֹאֲבִים), are painful, and decline. Another explanation of וּכְיָמֶי‏ךָ דָּבְאֶךָ is: וּכְיָמֶי‏ךָ - the days which can be enumerated as your good days, namely, all those days on which you fulfilled the will of the Omnipresent - דָּבְאֶךָ, so will be “your flowing,” i.e., all the countries [in the world] will make silver and gold flow into the Land of Israel. For Israel will be blessed with fruits, so that all the countries will be supplied by it, consequently pouring their silver and gold into it, ascorant in Old French. Moreover, the world’s silver and gold will be depleted, because they will pour it into your Land. — [Sifrei 33:25]   וּכְיָמֶיךָ דָּבְאֶֽךָ: וּכְיָמִים שֶׁהֵם טוֹבִים לְךָ, שֶׁהֵן יְמֵי תְחִלָּתְךָ, יְמֵי נְעוּרֶיךָ, כֵּן יִהְיוּ יְמֵי זִקְנָתְךָ, שֶׁהֵם דּוֹאֲבִים זָבִים וּמִתְמוֹטְטִים. דָּבָר אַחֵר, וכימיך דבאך כְּמִנְיַן יָמֶיךָ — כָּל הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם עוֹשִׂים רְצוֹנוֹ שֶׁל מָקוֹם — יִהְיֶה דָבְאֶךָ, שֶׁכָּל הָאֲרָצוֹת יִהְיוּ דוֹבְאוֹת כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל, שֶׁתְּהֵא מְבֹרֶכֶת בְּפֵרוֹת וְכָל הָאֲרָצוֹת מִתְפַּרְנְסוֹת הֵימֶנָּה וּמַמְשִׁיכוֹת לָהּ כַּסְפָּם וּזְהָבָם, אשקו"רנט, הַכֶּסֶף וְהַזָּהָב כָּלֶה מֵהֶם שֶׁהֵן מְזִיבוֹת אוֹתוֹ לְאַרְצְכֶם:
26Jeshurun, there is none like God; He Who rides the heavens is at your assistance, and with His majesty, [He rides] the skies,   כואֵ֥ין כָּאֵ֖ל יְשֻׁר֑וּן רֹכֵ֤ב שָׁמַ֨יִם֙ בְּעֶזְרֶ֔ךָ וּבְגַֽאֲוָת֖וֹ שְׁחָקִֽים:
Jeshurun: There is none like God - Jeshurun, you should know that there is none like God among all the gods of the peoples, and that their rock is not like your Rock.   אֵין כָּאֵל יְשֻׁרוּן: דַּע לְךָ יְשֻׁרוּן שֶׁאֵין כָּאֵל בְּכָל אֱלֹהֵי הָעַמִּים וְלֹא כְצוּרְךָ צוּרָם:
He Who rides the heavens: is the same God Who is at your assistance, and with His majesty, He rides the skies.   רֹכֵב שָׁמַיִם: הוּא אוֹתוֹ אֱלוֹהַּ שֶׁבְּעֶזְרֶךָ, ובגאותו הוּא רוֹכֵב שחקים:
27which are the abode for the God Who precedes all, and below, are the mighty ones of the world. He expelled the enemy from before you, and said, 'Destroy!'   כזמְעֹנָה֙ אֱלֹ֣הֵי קֶ֔דֶם וּמִתַּ֖חַת זְרֹעֹ֣ת עוֹלָ֑ם וַיְגָ֧רֶשׁ מִפָּנֶ֛יךָ אוֹיֵ֖ב וַיֹּ֥אמֶר הַשְׁמֵֽד:
which are the abode for God Who precedes all: The skies are an abode for God who preceded (קֶדֶם) all other deities. He selected the skies [above] as His residence and abode, while all the strong men live below Him.   מְעֹנָה אֱלֹהֵי קֶדֶם: לְמָעוֹן הֵם הַשְּׁחָקִים לֵאלֹהֵי קֶדֶם, שֶׁקָּדַם לְכָל אֱלֹהִים וּבָרַר לוֹ שְׁחָקִים לְשִׁבְתּוֹ וּמְעוֹנָתוֹ, וּמִתַּחַת מְעוֹנָתוֹ כָּל בַּעֲלֵי זְרוֹעַ שׁוֹכְנִים:
are the mighty ones of the world: [Literally, “The arms of the world.” This refers to] Sihon, Og, and the kings of Canaan, who were [considered] the strength and might of the world. Therefore, despite themselves, they will tremble and quake, and their power will dwindle before God - the fear of one above always falls upon the one below, and thus, He to whom power and might belong is the one who helps you, and who...   זְרֹעֹת עוֹלָם: סִיחוֹן וְעוֹג וּמַלְכֵי כְנַעַן שֶׁהָיוּ תָקְפּוֹ וּגְבוּרָתוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם, לְפִיכָךְ עַל כָּרְחָם יֶחֶרְדוּ וְיָזוּעוּ וְכֹחָם חָלֵשׁ מִפָּנָיו, לְעוֹלָם אֵימַת הַגָּבוֹהַּ עַל הַנָּמוּךְ, וְהוּא שֶׁהַכֹּחַ וְהַגְּבוּרָה שֶׁלּוֹ בְּעֶזְרֶךָ:
drove out the enemy from before you: And said to you, “Destroy them!”   וַיְגָרֶשׁ מִפָּנֶיךָ אוֹיֵב וַיֹּאמֶר: לְךָ השמד אוֹתָם:
which are the abode: Heb. מְעֹנָה. Every word that requires a lamed as a prefix [meaning “for” or “to”] can instead have a hey as a suffix [and the meaning is identical. Thus, here, the word מְעֹנָה is equivalent to לַמָּעֹן, meaning “for an abode”]. — [Yev. 13b]   מְעֹנָה: כָּל תֵּיבָה שֶׁצְּרִיכָה לַמֶ"ד בִּתְחִלָּתָהּ הֵטִיל לָהּ הֵ"א בְּסוֹפָהּ (יבמות י"ג):
28And Israel dwelled safely and alone as Jacob [blessed them], in a land of grain and wine; also, their heavens will drip dew.   כחוַיִּשְׁכֹּן֩ יִשְׂרָאֵ֨ל בֶּ֤טַח בָּדָד֙ עֵ֣ין יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב אֶל־אֶ֖רֶץ דָּגָ֣ן וְתִיר֑וֹשׁ אַף־שָׁמָ֖יו יַֽעַרְפוּ־טָֽל:
safely and alone: Every single individual [will dwell safely]-each man under his own vine and his own fig tree. [And their security will be so sound, that] they will have no need to live together in one group, because of the enemy.   בֶּטַח בָּדָד: כָּל יָחִיד וְיָחִיד אִישׁ תַּחַת גַּפְנוֹ וְתַחַת תְּאֵנָתוֹ מְפֻזָּרִין וְאֵין צְרִיכִין לְהִתְאַסֵּף וְלֵישֵׁב יַחַד מִפְּנֵי הָאוֹיֵב:
as Jacob [blessed]: Heb. עֵין יַעִקֹב. [The word עֵין, has the same meaning here] like [referring to the manna], “And its appearance (וְעֵינוֹ) was like the appearance of (כְּעֵין) crystal” (Num. 11:7). [So, our verse comes to teach us that the blessing here, of Israel dwelling בָּדָד] is like the appearance of the blessing that Jacob blessed, and not like the [meaning of the word] בָּדָד used by Jeremiah, “I dwelled alone (בָּדָד)” (Jer. 15:17), but like the appearance of the promise [of secure dwelling] that Jacob made to them [Joseph and his brothers], “And God will be with you, and bring you back to the land of your forefathers” (Gen. 48:21). - [Sifrei 33:28]   עֵין יַֽעֲקֹב: כְּמוֹ "וְעֵינוֹ כְּעֵין הַבְּדֹלַח" (במדבר י"א) כְּעֵין הַבְּרָכָה שֶׁבֵּרְכָם יַעֲקֹב, לֹא כְבָדָד שֶׁאָמַר יִרְמְיָה "בָּדָד יָשַׁבְתִּי" (ירמיהו ט"ו), אֶלָּא כְּעֵין הַבְטָחָה שֶׁהִבְטִיחָם יַעֲקֹב (בראשית מ"ח) "וְהָיָה אֱלֹהִים עִמָּכֶם וְהֵשִׁיב אֶתְכֶם אֶל אֶרֶץ אֲבֹתֵיכֶם" (עי' ספרי):
will drip: Heb. יַעַרְפוּ [like] יִרְעִפוּ, will drip.   יַֽעַרְפוּ־: יִטְּפוּ:
also, their heavens will drip dew: [Why does the verse say “also”? It means:] Also, Isaac’s blessing will be added to that of Jacob, which states, “And the God will give you from the dew of the heavens” (Gen. 27: 28). - [Sifrei 33:28]   שָׁמָיו יַֽעַרְפוּ־טָֽל: אַף בִּרְכָתוֹ שֶׁל יִצְחָק נוֹסֶפֶת עַל בִּרְכָתוֹ שֶׁל יַעֲקֹב "וְיִתֶּן לְךָ הָאֱלֹהִים מִטַּל הַשָּׁמַיִם וְגוֹ'":
29Fortunate are you, O Israel! Who is like you, O people whose salvation is through the Lord, the Shield Who helps you, your majestic Sword! Your enemies will lie to you, but you will tread upon their heights."   כטאַשְׁרֶ֨יךָ יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל מִ֣י כָמ֗וֹךָ עַ֚ם נוֹשַׁ֣ע בַּֽיהֹוָ֔ה מָגֵ֣ן עֶזְרֶ֔ךָ וַֽאֲשֶׁר־חֶ֖רֶב גַּֽאֲוָתֶ֑ךָ וְיִכָּֽחֲשׁ֤וּ אֹֽיְבֶ֨יךָ֙ לָ֔ךְ וְאַתָּ֖ה עַל־בָּֽמוֹתֵ֥ימוֹ תִדְרֹֽךְ:
Fortunate are you, O Israel: After Moses specified the blessings to Israel, he said to them, “Why do I have to specify all the details? In general: Everything is yours!”   אַשְׁרֶיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל: לְאַחַר שֶׁפָּרַט לָהֶם הַבְּרָכוֹת, אָמַר לָהֶם מַה לִּי לִפְרֹט לָכֶם כָּל דָּבָר? הַכֹּל שֶׁלָּכֶם:
Fortunate are you, O Israel. Who is like you…!: Your salvation depends on God, Who is the Shield that helps you and the Sword of your majesty.   אַשְׁרֶיךָ מִי כָמוֹךָ: תְּשׁוּעָתְךָ בַּה', אֲשֶׁר הוּא מגן עזרך וחרב גאותך:
Your enemies will lie to you: Like, for instance, the Gibeonites, who said, “Your servants have come from a… distant land…” (Josh. 9:9).   וְיִכָּֽחֲשׁוּ אֹֽיְבֶיךָ לָךְ: כְּגוֹן הַגִּבְעוֹנִים שֶׁאָמְרוּ "מֵאֶרֶץ רְחוֹקָה בָּאוּ עֲבָדֶיךָ וְגוֹ'" (יהושע ט'):
and you will tread upon their heights: [The meaning here is: “And you will crush their neck underfoot,”] similar to “Place your feet upon the necks of these kings!” (Josh. 10:24).   וְאַתָּה עַל־בָּֽמוֹתֵימוֹ תִדְרֹֽךְ: כָּעִנְיָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "שִׂימוּ אֶת רַגְלֵיכֶם עַל צַוְּארֵי הַמְּלָכִים הָאֵלֶּה" (שם י):